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Forum topic by Jackietreehorn posted 09-30-2016 12:19 AM 354 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jackietreehorn

150 posts in 1405 days


09-30-2016 12:19 AM

So I’m looking into restoring my grandparents old radio. It’s pretty much shot and I’m thinking I’ll rebuild from scratch at this point.

First question is why would they veneer a solid wood top? Is it so they could use a lesser expensive wood and make it look fancier? Or was it to hide the fact it was several pieces glued together?

Since I’m rebuilding it pretty much from scratch, I was thinking I would use plywood for the top, and just edge band the ply with solid wood, then veneer over it and do the roundover etc. Is this a bad idea?

I try to learn/do something new on every project but I’m kind of stumped on best approach for the top.

Second question is what kind of wood veneer was typical in that day. From what I can gather, they put this together, slapped stain all over it and put a clear over it, yet they used two types of veneer on it. The base looks like poplar, and the speaker grill pieces I’d guess mahogany, but I’m not a wood identifier by any means. I was thinking of just doing walnut for the veneer on the rebuild, but now starting to wonder if I should be trying to do two different kinds of wood to bring out a contrast. Thoughts?

Here’s what it looks like, pretty sad shape:
 photo IMG_4335_zpsbahmmd6b.jpg

In my shop for the teardown, I’m still not sure how I’m going to rebuild that base trim…

 photo IMG_8777_zps25ojezv9.jpg

-- www.nobleprojects.blogspot.com


7 replies so far

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bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1818 days


#1 posted 09-30-2016 12:29 AM

The top may well be “lumber core” plywood. You don’t see it any more but it once was a common furniture component.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Gentile

262 posts in 1285 days


#2 posted 09-30-2016 12:54 AM

I re purposed one like this years ago.
It was in much better shape that yours. Yours looks like it got soaked in a flood..
.Most of the guts were gone. I turned it into a stereo cabinet. I put in some shelves and where the radio dial had once been became a sort-of night light. If I recall the front was hinged on the bottom so that a turn table could swing out. I replaced it with a side piano hinge. The only down side was that the cabinet was close to the ground and it was a pain to kneel down to play CDs and volume.
Any pin striping disappeared when I used paint stripper on it. The veneered wood was us d a lot in the past. I redid a sewing machine cabinet that was in the same condition as your old radio. Bondo is correct there is a mis-mash of wood under the veneer. The sewing cabinet didn’t look too bad after staining and varnishing the lumber core stuff. Getting the glue off was a pain.
The old timers sure had some beautiful veneers…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

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Jackietreehorn

150 posts in 1405 days


#3 posted 09-30-2016 02:35 PM



The top may well be “lumber core” plywood. You don t see it any more but it once was a common furniture component.

- bondogaposis

That would make sense. I’m guessing since they stained all of the wood with a dark stain that they didn’t care what the core wood was


I re purposed one like this years ago.
It was in much better shape that yours. Yours looks like it got soaked in a flood..
.Most of the guts were gone. I turned it into a stereo cabinet. I put in some shelves and where the radio dial had once been became a sort-of night light. If I recall the front was hinged on the bottom so that a turn table could swing out. I replaced it with a side piano hinge. The only down side was that the cabinet was close to the ground and it was a pain to kneel down to play CDs and volume.
Any pin striping disappeared when I used paint stripper on it. The veneered wood was us d a lot in the past. I redid a sewing machine cabinet that was in the same condition as your old radio. Bondo is correct there is a mis-mash of wood under the veneer. The sewing cabinet didn t look too bad after staining and varnishing the lumber core stuff. Getting the glue off was a pain.
The old timers sure had some beautiful veneers…

- Gentile

Wasn’t a flood, just a damp basement for decades. I’m trying to decide on wood material at the moment. I want it to look somewhat original but also want it to look cool if I’m going through this much effort

-- www.nobleprojects.blogspot.com

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splintergroup

829 posts in 689 days


#4 posted 09-30-2016 02:55 PM

Yep, I had an old “tuning eye” Zenith I recovered by dumpster diving when I was a kid (the 60’s).
Same construction. I believe it was built this way as that was “how it’s done” back then. It looks like you have your work cut out for you!

It looks like you may be able to get away with just re-veenering many of the surfaces, your plan for the top should work out fine. I’d edge band some plywood, veneer the piece edge to edge (veneer laps over the edge banding), then profile, probably with a small ‘step’ to keep the edge of the veneer intact.

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Jackietreehorn

150 posts in 1405 days


#5 posted 09-30-2016 11:45 PM



Yep, I had an old “tuning eye” Zenith I recovered by dumpster diving when I was a kid (the 60 s).
Same construction. I believe it was built this way as that was “how it s done” back then. It looks like you have your work cut out for you!

It looks like you may be able to get away with just re-veenering many of the surfaces, your plan for the top should work out fine. I d edge band some plywood, veneer the piece edge to edge (veneer laps over the edge banding), then profile, probably with a small step to keep the edge of the veneer intact.

- splintergroup

When you say small step, you mean something like using a roundover to create a bead? It looks like that’s what they did originally

-- www.nobleprojects.blogspot.com

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splintergroup

829 posts in 689 days


#6 posted 10-02-2016 02:59 PM


When you say small step, you mean something like using a roundover to create a bead? It looks like that s what they did originally

- Jackietreehorn

Yep, most round over bits can be raised enough to expose the straight section go the cutter creating a small step.

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Jackietreehorn

150 posts in 1405 days


#7 posted 10-06-2016 11:33 PM


When you say small step, you mean something like using a roundover to create a bead? It looks like that s what they did originally

- Jackietreehorn

Yep, most round over bits can be raised enough to expose the straight section go the cutter creating a small step.

- splintergroup

I figured right, thanks!!

-- www.nobleprojects.blogspot.com

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